Three years in the making, the second full-length studio album by Berkshire five-piece All Things Considered is again a well produced record of singular acoustic music. Dance Through The Storm is “folk flavoured” but that label does not entirely do justice to the multiple musical infusions. Singer Emma Baldwin has a sculptured voice of haunting purity which typifies the band’s cultured roots quality. The playing of each instrument in the line-up has a distinct character. Adrian Holden’s delicately finger picked guitar, the attack of Gethin Webster’s fiddle and the resounding percussion of Phil Daniels come together in a unique blend.
The most involved track, ‘Where You Are’, featuring guest vocals by shanty singer and friend of the band, Chris Ricketts, builds impressively. The combination of duet singing, fiddle variations and the woodwind instrumental all hint at the possibilities of exploring more diverse musical pathways in future. ‘Unheard Sounds and Early Motions’ showcases the band members’ individual talents without overpowering in any department. In particular the backing vocals are a nice subtle addition. The title track is a good example of how the band can operate in a “heavier” vein yet carry off such a number gracefully. Never “in your face”, the dynamics work very well throughout and complement the thoughtful lyrics of the songs on the album.
The ten tracks of the CD all bear the unmistakeable signature sound of the band. Upon repeated listening, more facets of the carefully balanced production emerge and catch the attention. Here’s hoping it won’t be another three years till we hear their next endeavour. Colin Bailey